In June 2015, the UNESCO IITE took part in the Global High-Level Policy Forum "Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education for the Future We Want: from Statements to Action: Equity, Access, and Quality Learning Outcomes", which was held by UNESCO and ICDE.
The aim of the forum was to build on the Bali message, Incheon Declaration and Qingdao Declaration to turn statements into actions to ensure equity, access, and quality learning outcomes. In particular, this was to respond to the scale and urgency of need for higher education in the period 2015 to 2030 due to the expected massive growth of the number of students. The purpose was to develop the Paris message – a clear set of actions for the participants to commit to and take back to their countries.
Over 150 participants from more than 50 countries around the world took part in the Forum. The participants of the Global High-Level Policy Forum included senior officials of education ministries and policy makers in higher education; academic staff; representatives of teacher associations and student organizations; UNESCO Chairs in ICT and open and distance learning; the educational technology industry; global and regional networks; researchers; as well as leading non-governmental organizations in the field.
Mr. Qian Tang, ADG for Education, and Mr. Gard Titlestad, Secretary General of ICDE, opened the Forum and welcomed the participants and highlighted the role of education in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The participants committed to the Incheon Declaration which encourages countries to provide inclusive, equitable, quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all. The Declaration will underpin the education targets in the Sustainable Development Goals that will be ratified at the United Nations in September this year. Mr. Alexander Khoroshilov, UNESCO lITE Officer-in-Charge, was rapporteur in one of the breakout sessions on "Equity, access and quality: Learning outcomes and mobility" and speaker in the breakout session "The rise of online education and the future of the university". Ms. Svetlana Knyazeva, Chief of the Section of Digital Pedagogy and Learning Materials, introduced the UNESCO IITE project on foresight in ICT and Higher Education and the survey to be launched within the project.